Kristin Brunk

MS Student


I have a wide range of interests, including how populations change over time in response to biotic and abiotic factors, animal adaptations and behavior, and habitat use. I believe that understanding as much as possible about organisms and the ecosystems they inhabit is the best way to begin to conserve biodiversity.

For my MSc project, I will be working with Dr. Zach Peery and Dr. Anna Pidgeon to examine population changes over time and determine the current population status of the Marbled Murrelet, a threatened seabird. Additionally, I will be creating a spatially-explicit habitat suitability model for Marbled Murrelets in northern California. Murrelets are under threat from both changes in the ocean that affect their prey-base and habitat loss due to the harvest of old-growth pine forests where they nest and raise their chicks. Being able to predict critical nesting areas for the species could help boost reproduction, which is essential to preserving these unique seabirds.